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Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Japan's Ancient & Beautiful Heartland

Key features

  • Mount Ontake
  • Mountains
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Nakasendo Trail
  • Historic Towns
  • Hiking
  • Temples
  • Pristine Nature
  • Shrines & Temples
  • Nature Photography
  • Winter Activities
  • Local Food & Sake

Public Transport

From Takayama3.5 - 4 hours
From Nagano/Matsumoto1.5 hours/40 minutes
From Nagoya1.5 hours

Popular Attractions

Takayama45 min
Kamikochi1.5 hours
Matsumoto40 minutes

Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Japan's Ancient & Beautiful Heartland

Key features

  • Mount Ontake
  • Mountains
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Nakasendo Trail
  • Historic Towns
  • Hiking
  • Temples
  • Pristine Nature
  • Shrines & Temples
  • Nature Photography
  • Winter Activities
  • Local Food & Sake
The Kiso Ontake Mountain Range runs through the very center of Japan and dominated by Mount Ontake, Ontake is the second tallest volcano in Japan – behind Fuji - with an elevation of 3,067m. The region is blessed with rare beauty, typified by its lush forests, stunningly coloured rivers, rushing waterfalls, and picturesque towns and villages spread through the area. The attractions Kiso Ontake Mountain Range include the fabled Nakasendo Trail, the Ontake Ropeway, the Shirakawa Ice Pillars and numerous forest trails leading to stunning rivers and gorges – one of Central Japan’s less-visited but most remarkable enclaves.
The native Japanese religion of Shintoism teaches that all aspects of nature are imbued with ‘kami’, translating as gods or the divine. Mountains play an important role in this belief system and as such, a unique ‘Ontake Faith, developed in the region, worshipping the brooding volcano. Religious sites are dotted through the region including shrines and temples, along with important waterfalls, rivers and other natural features considered sacred.

Most famously, the Nakasendo Trail runs through this region including the best-preserved post towns of Narai, Magome and Tsumago. An area known as ‘Kiso-ji’, it has long been famous for its timber industry including traditional crafts and lacquerware. Readily accessible using the Limited Express Shinano services running from Nagano to Nagoya via Matsumoto, the Kiso Ontake Mountain Range offers many reasons to visit in each season.

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  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

Recommended Activites In & Around Kiso Ontake

Ontake Ropeway

Ontake Ropeway

Ascend the Beautiful, Sacred Mountain

Rising to 2150 metres - the mountain's 7th station - the ropeway provides access to walking trails and dramatic alpine vistas.

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'Ontake Kodo' Pilgrimage Trails

'Ontake Kodo' Pilgrimage Trails

Experience the Tradition of Nature Worship

As the focal point of devotion for the 'Ontake Shinko' sect, Mount Ontake can be hiked along its historic pilgrimage trails.

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Atera Gorge

Atera Gorge

Walk the Atera River

This stunning gorge, known for its emerald waters, can be accessed via leisurely walking track.

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Kakizore Gorge

Kakizore Gorge

Follow the Emerald Road

Nearby Atera, Kakizore is another of the Kiso Valley's hidden jewels.

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Lake Shizenko

Lake Shizenko

Guided Canoeing

Formed by a landslide in 1984, Lake Shizeko be enjoyed in summer with guided canoe and kayak tours.

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Nakasendo Trail

Nakasendo Trail

Walk the Historic Nakasendo

One of five former routes linking Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo Period, the Nakasendo can still be walked today.

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Mount Ontake Ropeway & Forest Hiking Tour

Mount Ontake Ropeway & Forest Hiking Tour

Go Deep into the heart of Japan

Ascend the Ontake Ropeway to its highest station and descend back to the world below through its sacred forests, led by a locally-based guide.

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Mount Ontake Kodo Nature Worship Tour

Mount Ontake Kodo Nature Worship Tour

On the Trail of the Gods

Be guided along 'Ontake Kodo' and deep into the heart of Japan and its timeless tradition of nature and mountain worship.

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Access

Public Transport

From Takayama3.5 - 4 hours
From Nagano/Matsumoto1.5 hours/40 minutes
From Nagoya1.5 hours

Popular Attractions

Takayama45 min
Kamikochi1.5 hours
Matsumoto40 minutes